Boston won its fifth straight against the Rays last night. In doing so, the Sox regained first place in the AL East. Josh Beckett was strong through 6 innings, while a lineup without David Ortiz produced the necessary offense for a win. If the pitching remains solid, I don't think the Red Sox will falter without Ortiz. The rest of the lineup is hitting well and the absence of Ortiz allows Manny Ramirez to get his ABs from the DH spot.
With Manny as the DH, Jacoby Ellsbury and CoCo Crisp can Co-exist in the outfield. This has three benefits. First, a happier clubhouse with Ellsbury and CoCo playing everyday. Second, the Red Sox are exponentially better defensively in outfield with the speedy duo of Ellsbury and CoCo. Third, allowing CoCo to play everyday increases his potential trade value. When he plays everyday, teams are reminded of what the centerfielder can do. With Ellsbury a full-time player its seems that trading CoCo is inevitable. (probably for bullpen help later in the season)
The Sox try to sweep the Rays tonight at Fenway with John Lester on the mound.
One final note related to Dan's post earlier this week. Jermaine O'Neal WILL NOT opt out of the last two years of his contract. (Worth about $44 million) That's a shock! What a squadouce.